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Dangote Lauds African Banks, Repays $2.4B of Refinery Loans Despite Challenges

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Aliko Dangote - Investors King

Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest person and founder of the Dangote Group, announced that he has repaid $2.4 billion of the $5.5 billion borrowed to construct his $19 billion refinery near Lagos.

This disclosure was made at the Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAN) and AfriCaribbean Trade & Investment Forum, where Dangote praised the crucial support from African financial institutions amidst numerous challenges and sabotage attempts.

Speaking to an audience of international financiers and business leaders, Dangote revealed that various entities, both local and foreign, sought to derail the 650,000 barrels per day facility.

“Many thought the project would fail,” he said, highlighting the skepticism surrounding the ambitious venture. Despite these hurdles, Dangote credited the Afreximbank and Nigeria’s Access Bank for their unwavering support, emphasizing that the project would not have succeeded without them.

He elaborated on the challenges faced, noting that foreign banks were often unsupportive, with some even attempting to push the project into default during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If I had raised the idea of international project financing, they would have shut it down, asking for my great-grandmother’s birth certificate,” Dangote remarked, criticizing the stringent and often discouraging conditions set by international financial institutions.

Dangote underscored the importance of African financial institutions in the continent’s industrialization, stating, “Without banks like African Finance Corporation (AFC) and Afreximbank, it would be difficult to industrialize Africa. They understand the challenges and issues unique to our continent.”

Despite the adversity, Dangote proudly announced significant progress in loan repayment. “We borrowed just over $5.5 billion. We’ve paid interest and some principal, totaling about $2.4 billion. Now, only $2.7 billion remains. We’ve done very well for a project of this magnitude,” he stated.

Addressing concerns about receiving enough crude oil for the refinery, Dangote acknowledged ongoing resistance from established players in the oil industry.

“Those who had access to easy money for decades don’t want to lose their grip. They fight back, but these challenges are temporary. We will overcome them,” he assured.

Dangote also highlighted the strategic importance of the refinery for Nigeria and the broader sub-Saharan region.

“Africa must produce what it consumes. We can no longer rely on the West. During the COVID period, some international banks hoped to see us default. Thanks to banks like Afreximbank, that didn’t happen.”

Furthermore, he revealed that 25% of Dangote’s fertilizer production is now exported to the US, and the company is poised to meet the Caribbean’s urea needs.

He emphasized the refinery’s role in securing Nigeria’s energy future, noting that the facility will act as the country’s strategic reserve for petroleum products.

With eyes set on future ventures, Dangote announced plans to enter the steel industry. “We aim to ensure every piece of steel we use comes from Nigeria. No foreigner will make our continent great; it must be driven by domestic investment,” he proclaimed.

In a testament to the Dangote Group’s self-sufficiency, he revealed that the company produces about 1,500 megawatts of power for its operations, bypassing the national grid and its limitations.

In closing, Dangote reflected on his journey, acknowledging the continuous battle against powerful adversaries but expressing confidence in ultimate victory.

“The fight is ongoing, but with the support of our people and government, we will prevail,” he affirmed.

As Africa’s industrial landscape continues to evolve, Dangote’s story serves as a beacon of resilience and a call to action for local investment and self-reliance.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Goya Foods Takes Legal Action to Assert ‘Goya Olive Oil’ Trademark Ownership

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Goya Foods

“Goya Olive Oil” trademark in Nigeria, Goya Foods Incorporated has initiated legal proceedings against the Registrar of Trademarks under the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment.

The case, numbered FHC/ABJ/CS/883/2023, was brought before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Goya Foods, a prominent producer and distributor of foods and beverages across the United States, Spanish-speaking countries, and Nigeria, seeks to enforce a longstanding consent judgment issued by the court in December 2006.

The judgment directed the Registrar to rectify the Trademarks Register to reflect Goya Foods Incorporated as the rightful owner of the “Goya Olive Oil” trademark, without any further formalities.

The lawsuit, exclusively revealed to sources, underscores Goya Foods’ determination to safeguard its intellectual property against alleged infringements.

According to court documents, Goya Foods obtained the consent judgment against Chikason Industries Limited, which was accused of marketing “Goya Olive Oil” in Nigeria, thus infringing on Goya Foods’ registered trademark.

Legal counsel for Goya Foods, Ade Adedeji, SAN, emphasized the necessity of rectifying the Trademarks Register to protect their trademark interests effectively.

Despite appeals to the Registrar, the requested rectification has not been implemented, prompting Goya Foods to escalate the matter through legal channels.

The case has been adjourned to September 27, 2024, for further proceedings, highlighting the complexity and significance of trademark disputes in the global marketplace.

Goya Foods remains committed to upholding its brand integrity and securing its proprietary interests amidst the evolving landscape of international trademark law.

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IOCs Accused of Blocking Direct Crude Sales to Dangote Refinery

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Dangote Refinery

Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) has accused International Oil Companies (IOCs) of obstructing direct crude oil sales to its refinery and forcing the company to use costly middlemen.

This development comes after a statement by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) suggested a “willing buyer-willing seller” dynamic was in place as mandated by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

Devakumar Edwin, Vice President of DIL, countered NUPRC CEO Gbenga Komolafe’s claims, stating that IOCs consistently make it difficult for local refiners by pushing sales through international trading arms, which inflate prices and bypass Nigerian laws.

“These middlemen earn unjustified margins on crude produced and consumed within Nigeria,” Edwin stated.

He noted that only one local producer, Sapetro, has sold directly to DIL, while others insist on using trading arms abroad.

Edwin detailed the financial impact, citing instances where DIL was charged a $2-$4 premium per barrel above the official price.

In April, DIL paid $96.23 per barrel for Bonga crude, which included significant premiums, compared to a much lower premium for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude.

While acknowledging NUPRC’s support in resolving some supply issues, Edwin urged the regulatory body to revisit pricing policies to ensure fair market practices.

“Market liquidity is essential for fair pricing. We hope NUPRC addresses these issues to prevent price gouging,” he stated.

This dispute highlights ongoing challenges in Nigeria’s oil sector, where domestic refiners struggle to secure local crude amidst complex market dynamics.

The outcome of these negotiations could significantly impact the refinery’s operations and broader industry practices.

The situation underscores the need for transparent and efficient crude supply systems to bolster Nigeria’s refining capacity and economic growth.

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Dangote’s $20 Billion Refinery to Begin Petrol Sales Next Month

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Petrol - Investors King

Aliko Dangote announced on Monday that his long-awaited $20 billion refinery complex will commence petrol sales starting next month.

The announcement came during a press briefing held at the refinery site in Lagos, where Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, detailed the project’s progress and future plans.

“We are proud to announce that the Dangote Refinery will begin selling petrol from August,” Dangote stated confidently.

“This milestone marks the culmination of years of meticulous planning, construction, and overcoming numerous challenges.”

Dangote’s refinery, touted as the largest single-train refinery in the world, is designed to process 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day once fully operational.

The facility aims to not only meet Nigeria’s domestic demand for refined petroleum products but also contribute significantly to export markets across West Africa.

“We have entered the steady-state production phase earlier this year, and now we are ready to begin commercial sales,” Dangote explained. “Initially, we will focus on petrol production, with plans to expand our product range as we ramp up to full capacity.”

The refinery’s launch is expected to alleviate Nigeria’s longstanding dependence on imported refined products, thereby boosting the country’s energy security and reducing foreign exchange outflows associated with fuel imports.

Beyond petrol sales, Dangote revealed ambitious plans to list both the refinery and its associated fertilizer plant on the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) by the first quarter of 2025.

This move aims to attract broader investor participation and unlock additional value for shareholders.

“We are committed to transparency and accountability in our operations,” Dangote emphasized. “Listing these subsidiaries on the NGX will not only strengthen our corporate governance framework but also enhance the refinery’s financial sustainability.”

Challenges and Future Prospects

Despite celebrating the imminent commencement of petrol sales, Dangote acknowledged challenges encountered during the project’s execution, including delays in securing land for a petrochemical facility in Ogun State, which incurred substantial costs.

“We faced bureaucratic hurdles that resulted in significant delays and financial losses,” Dangote lamented. “Nevertheless, we remain steadfast in our commitment to advancing Nigeria’s industrial capabilities and contributing to economic growth.”

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